In most organisations, morale is as elusive as it is threatening. Managers rightly understand that without strong morale, productivity and performance will suffer. The telltale warning signs – absenteeism, negativity, conflict and high turnover – can rapidly tip an organisation into a crisis that’s hard to crawl back from. Which is why it’s never been more important for managers to consider innovative tactics to keep morale in good shape.
An employee engagement study by Gallup found that only 30% of employees were engaged at work. The figure showed a decrease in correlation with the level of engagement of managers, demonstrating a flow-on or negative “cascade” effect. This shows the importance of engaging and boosting morale at all levels of seniority.
Challenges in this area abound: budgetary, interpersonal preferences and time constraints being just a few. So where do you start when devising new morale boosting efforts for your team? We suggest looking at these three main options.
Relationship and team building
Strong, supportive relationships are the cornerstone of healthy morale. How that looks will be slightly different for each organisation, depending on its values and industry.
Team building has moved beyond the standard golf days and blindfolded “trust fall” exercises in recent times. In a digital service economy that’s increasingly dominated by savvy millennial’s, team morale exercises require an element of creative innovation.
For leading tech companies in Silicon Valley, for example, this could look as unconventional as “Karaoke Rickshaw…espionage-themed adventure games… massive music video competitions” or even exercises that see teams “take over an island and turn it into a fortress of fun.”
As you might guess, high quality (and high cost) team building activities are a core part of these organisations’ talent recruitment, retention and performance strategies. Are you applying similar principles in your workplace?
Think about new approaches to team building and developing morale. You’ll want to take into account practicalities like the age profile, accessibility and the mix of personality types likely to be involved. Through engaging expert team activity planners and consultants, you’ll limit the risk of any “top-down” or out of touch decision making.
Expertly designed incentive programs
What if you could improve your business bottom line while lifting the office mood? Perhaps you’d like to take a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book and offer an island incentive to your staff.
Branson is a proponent of investing in staff trips and experiences. So much so that he bought an island off the Sunshine Coast for his staff. The invite-only staff retreat is just the sort of thing you might expert from the entrepreneur, who said, “When I think of the achievement that all of the staff have done here, as a thank-you we have bought this beautiful island where they can come and party and go away for weekends”.
In reality, most organisations will keep their incentives far less extravagant. But no matter the size or cost, incentive programs and rewards are vital to the morale and motivation of some industries – driving an increase in performance and boosting your bottom line.
Successful incentive programs and trips are carefully designed and can take months of meticulous planning. Incentive experts and conference agents are essential partners for helping you get the most out of the process. At Impact, we have years of experience in this space and can work with you to customise the perfect incentive program.
Team trips and celebrations
Since the advent of remote work, the opportunities for team travel and international conferences have proliferated. And many companies are seeing the benefits flow to their staff morale.
There are myriad options for travel-hungry managers to consider. Defining the goal of the trip will help you narrow down the options. Is your goal purely team bonding and celebrating a milestone or project? Then consider a short retreat with a festive dinner and free time during the day for attendees. Adding a surprise element to the trip is always a fun and memorable twist: maybe it’s a notable key speaker or performer or even a thoughtful gift bag.
If you’re looking for something more structured, you might want to tie travel in with a staff conference, professional development or intensive training workshops. There’s nothing like a fun exotic location away from the stresses of home to improve engagement in these learning programs. We work with a number of national and international organisations to craft unforgettable team conferences.
If you’d like to discuss how incentive trips, conferences and team trips can boost the morale and productivity of your team, get in touch with one of our experienced consultants on 03 9535 3600. We’ll turn your dream into a reality.